maltese youth part of the youth jury @ sitges film festival
Blog from an eyca cardholder - october 2017

Bruce Micallef Eynaud, being an EYCA Card Holder, has granted him the opportunity to participate in a competition open to young people within European Countries. Above all he has managed to excel, win and be part of the Youth Jury at the Sitges Film Festival.

Here’s what it is all about: 

‘This was without doubt one of the best trips I’ve ever been on. On my first day at the Sitges Festival , I really felt like I’d died and gone to heaven. I was one of seven film buffs chosen to be the Youth Jury (including five from Spain and a girl from France) and I couldn’t be more grateful to be among them.

It all started when I received an email from the Agenzija Zghazagh. They often send emails with interesting opportunities and events for young people, but this one in particular caught my eye. It offered those with the European Youth Card the opportunity to win a trip to the fest, which I had never heard of before.

A quick search on the internet revealed that Sitges was one of the world’s best horror and sci-fi film festivals, adored by genre giants such as Guillermo Del Toro, David Cronenberg and Wes Craven. Being a bit of a sci-fi and horror nerd I was very enticed, and applied. Having been a film critic for a student website at University, and being a Film Studies student must have helped my chances, as I was fortunately chosen.

It must be said this trip was not a holiday. Being a jury member meant we had an obligation to see all the films in the official contest, as well as all those in the Midnight Extreme section. That meant seeing roughly 5 films a day, over the course of 10 days. Sitting in the cinema seeing film after film after film can be tough work, especially if their quality was mixed. But nothing energised me more than seeing a gem of a movie, and there were many gems to be seen.

My personal favourites included American indie ‘My Friend Dahmer’, the Lynchian nightmare of ‘Dhogs’ and the Spanish dark comedy ‘Killing God’. We ultimately awarded Best Film to David Lowery’s quirky and touching ‘A Ghost Story’, which was one of the films we all agreed was excellent.

The whole town of Sitges seemed to be celebrating the festival’s 50th anniversary this year. There were multiple stalls along the seaside selling DVDs, posters and memorabilia, and special tents set up where you could watch Virtual Reality shorts. Perhaps the most enjoyable night was participating in the Sitges Zombie Walk, where hundreds of blood-thirsty horror fans marched through the streets disguised as the Undead. Other highlights of the trip included seeing The Exorcist on the big screen, followed by a Q and A with its director, William Friedkin, and getting to meet Guillermo Del Toro before seeing his masterpiece ‘The Shape of Water’.

It was a hugely enjoyable trip, and I now feel like a I have a new appreciation of horror and sci-fi cinema. I will certainly return to Sitges again! Thank you to Agenzija Zghazagh for making this possible. I recommend that all young locals take a look at the many great opportunities they are offering! “

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